So recently I went underwear shopping (the normal kind). As I was leaving the small store, a man delivering boxes to the same store observed me unlocking my bike and correctly deduced that I was part of my city's small but growing number of year round cyclists (winter cycling is not the easiest of tasks here in midwestern North America). He politely inquired if people (by which he meant drivers) gave me enough room. I replied that generally people did, but there will always be a few jerks and that the worst time is during hockey games. It seems that some hockey fans are extremely rude not just to me but other motorists.
Now before I go on I should provide context. I live in Winnipeg, a city that recently got an NHL team after 15 years of not having one. (Atlanta fans: I am truly sorry you lost your team, though I am not a hockey fan myself I think most Jets fans would be sympathetic. They were in your place in '96) Needless to say my city is hockey mad to the point of excess and all games are sold out.
Back to the sidewalk conversation. He remarked that his 7 year old son had just started hockey, but he didn't like going to his games because other parents are too aggressive. "I mean come on, he's seven." he said, then remarked "It does something to people." He wished me a good day and went on with his work.
My trip halfway across the city allowed me to ponder his remarks. I remembered in kindergarten asking my parents if I could join some of my classmates on a hockey team at the local arena, but was that because of our very modest family income at the time that we couldn't afford the equipment. I wondered if they would have let me play at all, or if perhaps I was lucky that I never played. I thought about the hockey fans I know who are committed pacifists, and those who love the violence of the sport.
I realize that violence is not limited to hockey. The recent burning a Roma camp in northern Italy featured angry mobs singing the anthems of one particular association football team known for it's bigoted fans is one example
I understand that this is a difficult subject, and entering as one who claims to be apathetic towards sports could be seen as an attempt to suppress innocent entertainment. So I will pose a few questions that should not offend: Is there are culture of aggressiveness and even violence around some sports? And if so, what is the cause? Why is there no perceived aggressive culture in sports like curling or.......... *looks through list of Olympic sports* .....table tennis?